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Smart diet is important in Poker

Salt — sodium chloride (NaCl) — is an edible inorganic crystal that may be harmful to your poker game.

It is present in most of our foods — more so in some. Foods that are especially high in salt include pizza, pickles, vegetable juice, tomato sauce, most sandwiches and frozen food. Often, we add more salt to enhance the flavor. In addition to foods with high salt content, there are many other foods that could impair your poker skills.

What does that have to do with the game of poker?

Recently, I read a flyer issued by the Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles: “Everyone needs salt to maintain fluid balance as well as muscle and nerve function.” Yes, salt is an important part of our diet. On the other hand, the flyer goes on to warn us: “Too much salt has become a major health concern.”

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High salt consumption can adversely affect a person’s health — high blood pressure, stroke, heart and kidney disease, possible liver damage, and osteoporosis. What is more, it can cause cognitive decline — reduced intellectual ability. And that can seriously impair your poker game by damaging your ability to think. Otherwise stated, salty foods might affect your intelligence!

At the poker table, that could make it harder to make viable decisions; as is, you have only seconds to act when it is your turn to do so. More mistakes are bound to occur — and, as a consequence, you are likely to lose more often and more chips.

What can you do? No one wants to be a loser. On the one hand, you can study the poker books and read experts’ columns in the poker magazines; and you may even take courses that teach winning poker — skills, tactics, and concepts.

In addition, stay away from those foods that are high in salt content; at least cut back on them. Do not add extra salt to your foods.

When it comes to nutrition, there are all sorts of foods: some super-foods help you avoid putting on weight. Others stimulate your cognitive function and improve your memory. On the other hand, some foods are known to have a harmful effect on your brain function. Nutritionists advise us to consume them moderately in order to limit their negative impact.

Slowly, but surely, these foods might harm your intelligence, impair your cognitive function and ability to think. Let us identify the top ones.

• Salty foods not only affect your blood pressure and your heart but can affect your cognitive function and impair your ability to think. As a matter of fact, the consumption of salty foods and nicotine have been shown to have the same effects as drugs, as they cause harsh withdrawal symptoms and cravings for salty foods.

• Sugar and sugary products are bad not only for your waistline, but for your brain function, as well. Long-term consumption of sugar can create neurological problems and interfere with your memory. On the other hand, sugar can also interfere with your ability to learn.

• Alcohol harms your liver over time, and it also causes “brain fog” — mental confusion impacting your memory and ability to think clearly. Stop drinking alcoholic beverages or limit your intake to one or two drinks per week.

In our next column, we will discuss several other foods that also can harm your poker game.“We are what we eat!”